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UPDATE: LCEC provides outage restoration report
September 13, 2017

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UPDATE:

More than half of LCEC customers within five counties have been restored as of 6 p.m. today.

There are 2,449 customers in Lehigh Acres with power and 26,702 customers without.

Crews will continue to work into the evening and the next update will be provided at 6 a.m. Thursday.

There are approximately 500 crews with boots on the ground and additional crews arrived from Texas today and more are on the way Thursday. Today and tonight, crews are located in:

- North Fort Myers

- Lehigh Acres

- All parts of Cape Coral

- Sanibel/Captiva Island

- Pine Island

- Marco Island

- Immokalee

- Everglades City (Crews have been working on the main lines toward Everglades City and will begin to deploy crews to that area as soon as it is possible to begin restoration.)

The process for restoring power is a proven and provides quick and efficient restoration. It is utilized by utilities responding to major outage events.

- Power is restored to transmission lines which bring the power from the power plant.

- Power is restored to substations which bring the power to the main feeder lines.

- Power is restored to the feeders, which deliver electricity to the lines that "tap" into them to serve homes, business, and facilities.

- When damage occurs at the source or to the main lines that bring power to homes and businesses, they must be repaired first so power can be delivered to the lines in neighborhoods and they can be restored.

- Once the main lines are restored, power may be restored on one "tap" line in the neighborhood but not another. This is due to damage on the tap line. It is quicker and more efficient to restore all of the "tap" lines that do not have damage and then return to complete the more time consuming damage repairs.

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ORIGINAL:

More than 500 crews and a large support team worked through the first full day of restoration Tuesday and currently 97,400 customers had power as of 6 a.m. today, according to LCEC officials.

New linemen arrived Tuesday after a difficult trip from out of state through heavy traffic and scarce fuel supplies. They will join existing crews throughout LCEC's seven-county service territory.

As of this morning, there were 2,229 customers in Lehigh Acres with power and 26,922 customers without power.

"We ask for customers' patience, trust, and support as we implement the restoration plan and restore power to homes and businesses," Karen Ryan, spokeswoman for LCEC, said in a prepared statement. "It is difficult to provide restoration with such widespread damage but LCEC is committed to working quickly and safely to restore power to all customer."

Officials previously advised the following:

- LCEC continues to work to repair the main circuits - lines delivering from the sources of the power. Once those lines are repaired we can begin to get power into neighborhoods. Areas with the most damage will take longer to repair. Marco Island, Immokalee, Everglades City and other areas in the south will take some time and a great deal of resources.

- Resources are spread throughout the five-county service territory and fresh resources, materials and equipment are coming in every day as needed.

- Customers may not see trucks in their neighborhood but they can rest assured crews are working somewhere to get power to them. Main lines first, then into residential areas.

- Customers are asked to keep the phone lines clear for emergencies such as downed power lines. Please contact 911 for medical emergencies. Crews cannot restore power to an individual home if the lines serving that home have not been repaired yet.

- If all neighbors have power but a customer is the only one without, please let LCEC know at: www.lcec.net. Be sure to check the breaker first in case you flipped it off before you evacuated.

So what happens when the lights go out? After LCEC restores power to critical community services like hospitals and fire departments, its main goal is to restore power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Once the damage has been assessed and a detailed plan created to help LCEC prioritize what to do, the following steps generally occur:

- The first priority is to repair downed transmission lines because these high-voltage lines supply power from a generating plant to one or more distribution substations and serve tens of thousands of customers.

- Substations (electrical facilities that contain equipment for switching or regulating the voltage of electricity) are repaired next. These substations are located throughout the LCEC service territory, each serving thousands of customers.

- Main distribution lines carry power from the substation. Each line may serve hundreds of consumers. When the problem is corrected at this stage, all customers served by the distribution line will have power restored.

- Tap lines are electric feeder lines with limited capacity that run from a main distribution line to transformer poles or underground transformers outside of buildings and throughout neighborhoods. Because these lines serve a few customers, they have lower priority. Even if these lines are not damaged, the customer will still be without power until the main line is repaired.

- Individual service lines run from the transformer to a building's meter. If this line is damaged, it may explain why your neighbor has power and you do not. This type of damage has the lowest priority since the line only serves one customer.

Source: Lee County Electric Cooperative

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